Canada Will Raise Francophone Immigration Targets, Marc Miller Says

Canada Will Raise Francophone Immigration Targets, Marc Miller Says
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Canada is to raise immigration targets for francophones from other countries hoping to settle in Canada outside of the province of Quebec, Immigration Minister Marc Miller says.

“Ottawa is planning to increase the target for francophone immigration outside of Quebec,” Miller tweeted.

The move comes as francophone immigration to Canada is already increasing.

The latest data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveals francophone immigration to the country outside of Quebec more than doubled last year, spiking almost 135.7 per cent to 16,380 new permanent residents from 6,950 in 2021.

Last year’s performance was also roughly double the previous high of 8,470 new, francophone permanent residents outside of Quebec in 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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While it might be tempting to write off last year’s boom in francophone immigration to Canada as little more than an anomaly due to the pent-up demand from francophone applicants during the pandemic, Canada is also on track to exceed that number of new francophone permanent residents this year.

In the first seven months of this year, Canada welcomed 10,190 new, francophone permanent residents outside of Quebec, putting the country on track to welcome 17,468 such immigrants this year provided the current trend maintains itself for the rest of 2023.

The immigration minister’s musings on raising the target for francophone immigration outside of Quebec also comes only months after Ottawa is opened the doors of the francophone stream of the  International Mobility Program (IMP), the Mobilité Francophone or Francophone Mobility Program, to all French-speaking foreign nationals who want to come work in Canada within the next two years.

“Our government is committed to increasing the presence of French-speaking immigrants from coast to coast to coast,” said then-Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

“The changes to the Francophone Mobility Program open the possibility for this and provide supports for the development of the francophone minority communities that welcome them. By attracting more French-speaking individuals, we embrace a wealth of linguistic talents and cultural perspectives and a shared heritage that enriches the cultural tapestry of our great nation.”


Until then, the Mobilité Francophone stream had been reserved for highly-skilled francophone foreign nationals wanting to get work permits and spend some time at a job in Canada.

The change allowed any francophone foreign nationals to apply for a work permit under the program for any job in Canada classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 system with the exception of jobs in primary agriculture.

Applicants must have a moderate language proficiency of French for oral comprehension and oral expression, equivalent to a level five of the language requirements, and must provide proof that they meet these language requirements.

“This documentary evidence may be, but is not limited to, a French evaluation test or the French competencies test, a diploma or degree from a French college or university, or a document confirming studies at a French-language institution,” notes Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Expansion of the Mobilité Francophone program was welcomed by francophones in Canada and seen as a way to boost the vibrancy of their communities.

Opening Up Mobilité Francophone Program Seen As Aid To Boosting Francophone Immigration

“As a proud Franco-Ontarian, I believe we need to do everything we can to protect the French culture and language,” said Marie-France Lalonde, parliamentary secretary to the immigration minister. 

“Increasing francophone immigration outside Quebec remains one of our top priorities. That’s why we will always advocate for the expansion of programs, like the Francophone Mobility Program, that support the vitality of francophone minority communities across Canada.”

First launched in 2016 to help employers recruit highly-skilled, French-speaking Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) from francophone communities outside Quebec, the program has led to the issuance of roughly 5,700 work permits to francophone foreign nationals in the three years that ended on Dec. 31, 2021.

“The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption from the Francophone Mobility Program makes it easier for employers to hire skilled French-speaking temporary foreign workers to work and gain valuable work experience in francophone minority communities in Canada outside Quebec,” notes the IRCC.

With that work experience under their belts, many TFWs then apply for permanent residency in Canada through Express Entry programs like the Canadian Experience Class (CEC).

In the 4.5 years from June 2016 to December 2020, 1,080 out of 5,700 temporary work permit holders transitioned to permanent residence.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.